Last month I blogged about the role of ETBs nationally in providing further education and training opportunities for learners throughout the country. In the past few months, we in Kerry ETB Adult Literacy and Basic Education have had to report on the delivery of Literacy and ESOL in 2015.  These are very important reports and both are examined in detail by SOLAS and the Department of Education. The information in the reports is examined as part of the funding process. It is our way to justify the support we receive from SOLAS.

The information for this report comes from a variety of sources. The most important source is the Student Registration Form. This provides a lot of the information that is needed. The next most important form is the Outcomes Form. This is why it is so important for you to complete all sections of these forms and to return them to you local Literacy Organiser.

The report has 16 Sections and is completed by collating data from right around the county. This is what Claire has been working on for the past number of weeks. It is a mammoth task and one that she performs with great skill and efficiency.

The information from the reports is interesting and to share some with you, in 2016, 1400 students attended adult literacy classes. 48% of these are male and 52% are female. People aged between 45 and 54 make up the largest grouping.

pie chart depicting 52% female learners vs 48% male

This has been an interesting trend over the past few years. We have seen an increase of men attending our classes.

Most students attending adult literacy classes are unemployed, with many of them being long-term unemployed.  345 are not in the labour market.

Pie chart depicting numbers of ABE learners by employment status

I find this interesting. It is often said that there is a direct link between disadvantage/ lack of opportunity and literacy levels. No other statistic can be more revealing than this. It is evident that learners in Kerry who have literacy difficulties are less likely to be in employment or active in the labour market.  The majority of these learners enter Adult Literacy classes at literacy Level 2 and Level 3.

35,229 hours of 1:1 tuition were delivered.  This is an enormous voluntary contribution right around the county. This is the equivalent of 48 teachers working full time on 1:1 tuition.  Many thanks to you all for this wonderful effort and for making such a difference to so many people’s lives.

367 students attended ESOL classes. 56% of these are male and 44% are female. People aged between 35 and 44 years make up the largest grouping.  181 of these were at Level 4/5 on entry and 82 were at Level 6 or above on entry.

It is interesting to see that ESOL learners have a higher level of educational attainment but that their difficulties speaking English are holding them back from gaining employment and further educational opportunities.

Assisting Claire in gathering the data, Mairead Egan who is currently on work placement with us was extremely helpful in crunching the numbers. I must also thank Mairead for willingness and dedication in stepping in to produce and distribute the Tutor Newsletter in December.